Now Trump Won't Moderate GOP Debate
...because he still might run for president
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2011 1:40 PM CST
Donald Trump smiles as Newt Gingrich talks to the media after their meeting in New York, Monday, Dec. 5.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

(Newser) – And the Trump Show continues: After getting scads of press related to the Dec. 27 debate he was scheduled to moderate, Donald Trump has now backed out of doing so. And not because only two candidates agreed to show up: because he still might run for president, he says. In a statement released today and picked up by ABC News, Trump explains that the GOP candidates are worried that he will announce a third-party run after The Apprentice concludes on May 20, and are refusing to participate unless he "conclusively" agrees not to run. Which he can't do.

"It is very important to me that the right Republican candidate be chosen to defeat the failed and very destructive Obama Administration, but if that Republican, in my opinion, is not the right candidate, I am not willing to give up my right to run as an Independent candidate," reads his statement. "Therefore, so that there is no conflict of interest within the Republican Party, I have decided not to be the moderator of the Newsmax debate." He closes by giving props to Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum (for having the "courage, conviction, and confidence" to agree to participate) and, in a way, to himself, because had he been at the helm, it would have been "not only have been the most watched debate, but also the most substantive and interesting debate!"